With his unnerving gaze and hulking frame, Michael Shannon always gives off a sense of danger. Cast him as a romantic lead and it’s a good bet there will be something combustible about the character he is playing. That’s certainly the case in noir-ish love story Frank & Lola, which sees his volatile Las Vegas chef fall hard for Imogen Poots’s aspiring fashion designer.
At first, theirs is a deliriously swoony affair, but it isn’t long before the green-eyed monster rears its ugly head. And when Frank learns of Lola’s troubled past, and her damaging involvement with a rich European swinger (Michael Nyqvist), his sexual jealousy erupts.
A throwback to the febrile world of 1940s and 50s film noir, writer-director Matthew Ross’s film is undeniably overwrought, but Shannon and Poots’s rapport carries a prickly charge, while The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo actor Nyqvist provides an appropriately nasty reek of Eurostrash sleaze.
Look out, too, for Rosanna Arquette’s brief cameo as Lola’s self-absorbed jet-set journalist mother. She has just one brief scene, but it gives us a telling glimpse of the background of privilege and neglect that went into creating her femme fatale of a daughter.
Certificate 18. Runtime 88 mins. Director Matthew Ross
Frank & Lola debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on 5 February. Available on DVD & Digital from Universal.